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Play It Again

Get those seedy CDs back into circulation -- and bring your music collection up to date -- at these independent-minded swap shops.

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Rock-and-roll animals probably have their favorite music shops all picked out, but for most of us, it's Tower, HMV, or nothing. If you're after something that's out-of-print, or have CDs to trade in or sell, save a few bucks by shopping at these backstreet sources -- you can even pick up some extra cash or store credit trading in those REO Speedwagon tunes.

Sounds carries loads of rock and roll plus all other nonclassical musics. Used CDs are $4.99 to $8.99. New ones (also at the shop's other location, two doors down) start at $8.99; (current releases are $11.99 to $12.99). Trade in old CDs for $1 to $6 (Sounds isn't as choosy as most).

Discorama's classical shop is full of new and used classical recordings, plus all other used CDs. New discs are mostly $9.99 to $10.99; used ones are $5.99 or less. The shop's main location, two blocks west, has new rock and pop CDs (including new releases), as well as other genres. Discorama buys compact discs for $2 to $5.

NYCD sells almost everything from soundtracks to hip-hop (but no classical music). Used CDs are mostly $6.99 to $8.99; new ones are a a bit less than they'd be at a megastore, starting at $9.99. Trade-ins get $1 to $5.

Music junkies love Other Music for electronic music, experimental jazz, indie rock, and imports. Or just ask: the staff will introduce you to something new. Domestic CDs are $10 to $16; imports are $15 to $25. Trade-ins get $2 to $10, but the shop's a picky buyer.

St. Marks Sounds, 20 St. Marks Pl. (677-3444); Discorama, 146 W. 4th St. (477-9410) and 186 W. 4th St. (206-8417); NYCD, 426 Amsterdam Ave., near 81st St. (724-4466); Other Music, 15 E. 4th St. (477-8150).

Picks of the Week

Denise Williamson's trendy, downtowny lines include Fake London, Pixie Yates, and People Used to Dream About the Future. Sale prices are half off: Pants are $45-$60; cashmere sweaters are $150-$200. Sizes 2-10. 115 Mercer St., second floor (226-5507); cash only; Tues.- Thurs. 10-7; 5/18-5/20.

Staff USA represents highly covetable European designers like Bella Freud, Clements Ribeiro, Costume National, Martin Margiela, and Missoni. At the sample sale, hundreds of pieces are more than half off, from $20 to $700. Women's sizes 4-10; men's sizes 40-44. 495 Broadway, near Broome St., eighth floor (925-9700); A.E., M.C., V.; Thurs.-Sat. 11-7, 5/20-5/22.

Showroom Seven's bright, youthful separates from Beverly Mehl, Coup de Pied, and Velvet, plus high-end fashion from Lawrence Steele and Ghost (pictured below) and Erickson Beamon jewelry, are at least half off, from $20 to $500 (with even bigger reductions on old stock). 498 Seventh Ave., near 37th St., twenty-fourth floor (643-4810); A.E., M.C., V.; Tues.-Sat. 10-7; 5/18-5/28.

Maxx New York's cool but classic spring bags are on sale for about half off retail: from $30 for a small raffia tote to $100 for a large microfiber weekend bag. 385 Fifth Ave., Suite 1010 (679-3220); A.E., M.C., V.; Mon.-Thurs. 11-6:30, Fri.- Sun. till 5; 5/19-5/27.

ALWAYS A DEAL
Phantom Time

Most of the new Star Wars promotional products are idiotic on anyone over 10, but for those who saw the original installment in its first release, the $11.99 C-3PO watch is surprisingly chic. A painted cover modeled on the famous 'droid flips up to reveal a sleek see-through face and colorful wiring, and the clear plastic band is printed to match. The watch is a subtle accessory for the May 19 premiere -- and when the hoopla's over (again), rip off the flip top for a conventionally cool watch. Or buy one and stash it, unopened, if you want to be the envy of a collectibles dealer around 2015. FAO Schwarz, 767 Fifth Ave., at 58th St. (644-9400).


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